I expected the second year of grad school to be easier. Half the program is under my belt, I have the pattern down, I know what the expectations are…cake walk, right? WRONG. In fact, I feel more overwhelmed than I did this time last year. Perhaps it is because I also have this GIANT 60-100 page paper looming over my head that I have to continually work on. Whenever I have free time (which is either after a long work or school day) I feel guilty if I don’t have some form of homework or thesis work in front of me.
But you know what I always forget? To do stuff that makes me happy. I think it is impossible to stay sane and do quality work if you feel guilty or completely overwhelmed. It is important to take time to do something for yourself. It is kind of surprising how cathartic and refreshing it can be to the scholastic process. I went to see the band Atlas Genius earlier this month (they are freaking great live by the way) and it put some pep in my step. While I constantly worry about being able to get all of my work done, I need to remember that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There will be a time (hopefully in the near future) where academic papers are behind me and I can do fun stuff all the time.
So, in short, always find a way to take time for yourself. Whether it be a happy hour, ice cream, concerts, etc. You deserve it.
For a little over two years now, I’ve been working as a student leader on campus. I also ran a SALP group for two years. In that time I learned many things including leadership techniques, networking skills, communication and so on. But the one that sticks out the most is this basic principle about students: They don’t check their emails. Which leads to conversations like this:
Student: “Hey Emily, I didn’t hear about that awesome event Campus Rec just did, why didn’t you tell anyone? That’s your job and you’re not doing it”.
Me: “Well, student, as a matter of fact, I sent three e-mails about that event in the last month, do you check your e-mail?”
Me: “Do you read your e-mails?
Me: “That’s what I thought”
Student shuffles off without accepting fault.
If I had a quarter, or even a nickel, for every conversation of this type that I have had over the last two years, I wouldn’t be $40,000 in debt. Moral of the story: Read your $#%@&** e-mails. You might just find that all your questions have already been answered.
Internships: a beyond complicated ordeal. Most employers are looking for someone who is experienced, but you are still getting your feet wet with your major. I am even more frustrated with the fact that my major is graphic design, and I feel that no one wants to hire someone who they think “can’t” design. So where do I even start?
First off, I spent a good half hour of panicking in tears (please don’t do this). However, this led to me emailing my art director and setting up a meeting with her. She gave me the best advice ever: Create a list of dream jobs from companies you would love to work for. From that, start tailoring your resume to fit those clients. They may be out of your reach, but it helps you focus on creating an impressive resume and piecing logistics together, rather than applying willy-nilly to any place possible.
I had her look over my resume, cover letters, etc., and then she told me, “All right, now just apply.” I was rather confused, because I feel like the jobs are way beyond my capabilities, and the companies are not advertising that they want an intern. She explained that just because they are not promoting internships, does not mean they will not welcome the extra help. Plus, if you show that you are passionate and willing to learn, they are probably willing to show you a couple ropes.
We’ll see how this strategy works, but it seems pretty hopeful. What are your tips or strategies for attaining an internship? Any good successes or roads not to travel down?
Tired, slow and unmotivated are just three of the words that describe, well, most of us right now. We are scrambling to figure out what classes to register for and cramming for midterms and our last chance to get an A in that class we’ve been frustrated with all term.
Hey, there are still three more weeks left — isn’t that lovely. This week, however, we need to rejuvenate ourselves and take time to just relax. Of course, we still have to study, but we have the next three weeks to study until our pens run out of ink and pencils break.
So now you are asking, “What I should do instead of pulling my hair out?” Easy.
Step one: Put that book and pencil down. Yes, you heard me right, put it down.
Step two: Go outside by yourself or with a friend, grab a Frisbee or any sport ball and just play. Or go on a walk to refresh your mind.
Step three: Cook yourself dinner, and no, mac-and-cheese or ramen noodles don’t count. Create a meal with chicken, tuna, or if you’re a vegetarian go for a fresh salad with fresh produce and nuts added to it. We all seem to think snacks will get us through the day, but you’re only losing energy by not satisfying your hunger.
Understanding that we all may not have enough time to make that meal, we still have to remember to check our health and listen to what our body is telling us.
Good luck to everyone on midterms and finals!
I got a chance to catch up with two of my very good friends on the Portland State football team after one of their practices before they defeated University of North Dakota. These two gentlemen, junior Vincent Johnson (left) and senior Bryant Long (right), took time out to answer some questions from me. In this interview we go over everything from their respective recruiting trips to their brotherhood in Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. See these guys on the field for our last home game of the season against Sacramento State University at 1:05 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at Jeld-Wen Field. Are there any other athletes or student leaders you would like to see in a future interview? GO VIKS!
Did you enjoy the “All Major Career & Internship Fair” at the Smith Memorial Student Union last Tuesday? With representatives from more than 60 organizations, including those from private industry, government and non-profits, it was a perfect opportunity to start the search for that elusive job and get to know the various opportunities out there. Some of the popular companies who made their presence felt at the fair were Boeing, Blount International, Cambia Health Solutions, and Hershey Company.
An elevator pitch is an important element of the career fair for which the students need to train in advance. If you are wondering what an elevator pitch is – it is a one sentence, succinct description of what you bring to the table, and how you are a good fit for the company. This may essentially compel a company to immediately take note of and get interested in you. It was good to see students practicing their elevator pitches outside the ballroom while getting ready to impress employers.
Apart from the employers, there were representatives from Portland State University (School of Education, Business graduate programs office) to help students chose companies based on their skill sets. This was definitely the first chance to take a shot at an internship for next summer or for full-time careers for graduating students. Hope you all made good use of the event. And in case you missed it, there are a couple more career fairs to look out for – The Nonprofit 2013 career fair on the 7th of November and Northwest Career fair on the 18th of November. For more details see https://portland.experience.com/stu/cf_list?aff=12627
I’m still not sure I am equipped to handle the stress that comes with graduate school. When people said it would be hard, I laughed at them. I never had to read assignments in undergrad, and writing papers was easy.
If you are thinking about grad school you should just know that the reading is ridiculous; hundreds of pages per week. The papers are long. I scoff at anything in the single digits now. Stress will eat you for dinner, and it will eat your other grad school friends for dessert. Time management is a must, and the funny thing is that it used to be a skill of mine UNTIL I started grad school. Not to mention I work two jobs so I can stay alive, AND I have a dog. You might think you are immune to grad school, but trust me, you aren’t; at times it is just plain rough.
I know that in the end it will all be worth it and I am already half way through, but some days it just feels like for every bit of progress I make, every time I get to the top of that hill, someone is standing at the stop waiting to shove me back down.
Sometimes you just have to allow yourself to feel like an idiot, to be stressed and bummed, to cry your eyes out over the injustices YOU signed up for, and then give yourself a pep talk and get back to it.
Speaking of pep talks, this always makes me feel better: